National Museum of Capodimonte
museum in Naples



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National Museum of Capodimonte
museum in Naples
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More about National Museum of Capodimonte

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Sometimes you need an art museum instead of a hunting lodge. Just ask King Charles.

The National Museum of Capodimonte is an art museum that just happens to call a Bourbon palace in Naples, Italy its home. Originally, in 1738, King Charles VII of Naples (more commonly known as King Charles of Spain because one country wasn’t good enough for Chuck) thought, “Hmm, I’d like a large hunting lodge on a hill, but my current palace just isn’t big enough to house my fabulous art collection. Looks like it’ll have to be a new palace for the Farnese art collection that mummy left me instead!” Good call, Chuck.

Chuck’s museum carried Elisabetta Farnese’s collection until Napoleon went on his conquering rampage. In 1799, many of the most valuable works were transported out of Italy by King Ferdinand as he fled the French power. The remaining unlucky pieces of artwork were looted by French troops. Once Napoleon was imprisoned and the King Ferdinand returned to Naples he decided to redecorate the palace and add a contemporary art wing. In the 1860s the museum came to include a collection of historic firearms and weapons. Today the museum boasts work by artists such as Titian, Caravaggio, El Greco, and even Andy Warhol.



  1. “Museo di Capodimonte.” Museo e Real Bosco Capodimonte. 18 June 2017.
  2. “National Museum and Galleries of Capodimonte.” Encyclopedia Britannica. 18 June 2017.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Museo di Capodimonte

Museo di Capodimonte is an art museum located in the Palace of Capodimonte, a grand Bourbon palazzo in Naples, Italy. The museum is the prime repository of Neapolitan painting and decorative art, with several important works from other Italian schools of painting, and some important ancient Roman sculptures. It is one of the largest museums in Italy. The museum was inaugurated in 1957.


The vast collection at the museum traces its origins back to 1738. During that year King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily (later Charles III, king of Spain) decided to build a hunting lodge on the Capodimonte hill, but then decided that he would instead build a grand palace, partly because his existing residence, the Palace of Portici, was too small to accommodate his court, and partly because he needed somewhere to house the fabulous Farnese art collection which he had inherited from his mother, Elisabetta Farnese, last descendant of the sovereign ducal family of Parma.

Over the years the palace was enlarged and filled with more art. In 1787, on the advice of Jacob Philipp Hackert, a laboratory for the restoration of paintings was created.

When the Parthenopaean Republic was declared in 1799, King Ferdinand IV fled to Palermo on board Nelson's Vanguard, taking the most valuable items from the museum with him. What remained was looted by the French troops of General Championnet who were billeted there during the short life of the Republic in 1799. Later on during the ten years of French reoccupation (1806 to 1815), the art collection was transferred to the Naples National Archaeological Museum. When King Ferdinand returned from Sicily in 1815, he employed many painters and sculptors to work on the redecoration of the palace . It was finally completed in 1840, and a gallery housing contemporary art was added.

After the palace passed in 1861 to the House of Savoy, further pieces were added to the art collections, appointing Domenico Morelli as consultant for new acquisitions. They also added an extensive collection of historic firearms and other weapons. In 1866, the boudoir of Maria Amalia of Saxony was transferred to Capodimonte from the Palace of Portici, and in 1877 a Roman era marble floor was brought in from a Roman villa on Capri.

After the end of the monarchy, the palace became purely a national museum in 1950, with many of the exhibits being returned from the National Museum.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Museo di Capodimonte.